By Nik Cohn
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Being a hefty, deaf newcomer virtually makes Will Halpin the least well known man at Coaler excessive. but if he befriends the one man much less well known than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to determine who knocked off the megastar quarterback. Will can’t listen what’s happening, yet he’s an exceptional observer.
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Just sickened. Every time she moved, took a turn around the jungle, the gas stabbed her again, jack-knifing her, and she had to go feed snakes to straighten up. Their cages sat in a bower of ferns and orchids. The scent of the orchids like embalming fluid, when combined with the brackish reek of snakeshit, never failed to soothe her. Sweat ran sluggish on her belly, her thighs, and she treated the California whipsnake, masticophis lateralis, to a bonus mouse. This was her favourite snake. A lot of reptiles she could take or leave, they were no more than furniture.
He gave me a Franklin to sit in the back of his car and let him voyeur me drink hot and sour. Some kind of Russian, he looked like a moulting bear. Smelled like one, too. Kept the soup in this metal canister like an urn or Chinese thermos with snakes and fire-tongue dragons painted on it, and inside it was scalding. One sip and my lips burned up, I thought I like to died. I mean, I was screaming like Oh my God. But the man never said or stirred. Just kept flopping more twenties on me, pushing them down my top.
If not for Ferdousine, she might still be trapped. Or pushing up daisies, more like. The first time she’d come across him, in fact, she had been running from the image of a ballerina shortly to lose a leg in a skiing accident. The Ansonia and all its works so oppressed her, she felt like going out the window. Which was not her style. So she went to watch cricket instead. That game had always been a refuge. Fred Root, her great-uncle, had bowled for England back in the Twenties, and there had been a summer when she was fourteen when she stayed with him above the corner sweetshop he ran in Wolver-hampton, some dirty grey town in the Midlands.
Need by Nik Cohn